🇸🇦 Bulletin: "Saudi Arabia releases findings of Khashoggi inquiry, seeks death penalty for five people it says who ordered the journalist’s death." (WashPost)
🚨 New: Axios interviews Tim Cook, Elon Musk and Bill Gates in tech-heavy final two episodes of "Axios on HBO," airing the next two Sundays at 6:30 and 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
To win re-election, President Trump must wage a two-front war: Not only does he have to defend Democratic-leaning Midwest states that sealed his victory in 2016, but he now needs to defend against clear Republican erosion in the South and Southwest.
The Sosnik map above is congruent with the point Jim VandeHei and I made in the lead of Axios AM a few days ago: The midterms showed "that without Hillary atop the ticket, Midwest states like Wisconsin are tough for Trump, and Southern states with rising Hispanic populations are slowly growing more Democratic."
I asked Doug, who started in Democratic politics in Michigan in 1982, to parse the implications of his analysis for each side.
Encouraging points for Republicans:
Downsides for Republicans:
Bullish signs for Dems:
Bearish signs for Dems:
President Trump's backing of bipartisan criminal justice reform yesterday is a 180-degree twist from Campaign Trump, who ran on 1980s-style law and order.
Be smart: Trump still holds Old Testament views about certain aspects of the criminal justice.
Jared Kushner brought the president a long way to get his support. Criminal justice reform was not what Trump ran on — quite the opposite — and it’s been a huge effort from Kushner and allies to get Trump to this point.
Trump has privately worried that supporting the bill would madden his base and get him offside with law enforcement.
"[A]s evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could ... be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, [Mark] Zuckerberg and [Sheryl] Sandberg stumbled," the N.Y. Times' Sheera Frenkel, Nick Confessore, Cecilia Kang, Matt Rosenberg and Jack Nicas report, "based on interviews with more than 50 people":
Privacy criticisms by Apple CEO Tim Cook "infuriated Mr. Zuckerberg, who later ordered his management team to use only Android phones — arguing that the operating system had far more users than Apple’s."
From left ... Newly elected House members Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) take a selfie following an official class picture for new representatives, who are on the Hill for orientation.
The design team at Quorum Analytics put together a photo edit of yesterday's freshman class photo of members-elect of the 116th Congress, doing a color-isolate on all the newly-elected women (above) and men (below).
WashPost lead story, "Pelosi’s foes in party dig in":
House Dems are staffing up for investigations. From Tom Manatos Jobs, a popular Washington employment board:
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The Food and Drug Administration today will announce a series of actions aimed at cracking down on youth vaping, despite e-cigarette maker Juul's last-minute effort to self-police, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
As the Washington Post reported, the FDA's actions are expected to include:
Juul proposed a similar set of voluntary steps. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb applauded Juul's efforts in a tweet on Tuesday, but said that "voluntary action is no substitute for regulatory steps #FDA will soon take."
"Oxford Dictionaries has chosen 'toxic' as its international word of the year, selecting it from a shortlist that included such politically inflected contenders as 'gaslighting,' "incel' and 'techlash.'" (N.Y. Times)
Half full ... Bloomberg, "A Strong U.S. Economy Will Boost Global Growth in 2019":
Half empty ... Wall Street Journal lead story, "Global Economic Slowdown Deepens":
⚡P.S. Breaking: "British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned [today,] thrusting Prime Minister Theresa May’s government into turmoil." (Reuters)
"If you make it to your 65th birthday in the U.S. today, you can expect about 20 more years and have a good chance at 30. The fastest-growing segment of the population, in fact, is between the ages of 85 and 94," Kim Tingley writes in the N.Y. Times Magazine, in an exploration of future housing and leisure for seniors:
"A similar demographic shift is underway around the globe, and no one seems to have a solid plan for addressing it."
Behind the cover ... Gail Bichler, design director: "We liked the idea of a robot hand holding a human skull for its reference to 'Hamlet' and the humor of a robot's contemplating the future (or is it the past?) of humans."
"A large, drop-shaped natural pearl pendant sold for more than $36 million Wednesday at a rare auction of jewelry that once belonged to French Queen Marie Antoinette, which Sotheby's is calling a record price for a pearl at auction," AP's Jamey Keaten reports from Geneva:
Why it matters: "The diamond and pearl jewelry of Marie Antoinette that went under the hammer epitomized the aloof, pre-Revolutionary opulence of French royals brought down by the uprising. The wife of King Louis XVI, she was executed in France's revolutionary fervor in 1793."